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Fossella Gets Five-Day Jail Sentence

By Ben Pershing

Seven months after the drunk-driving arrest that effectively ended his congressional career, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y) was sentenced today to serve five days in jail, a ruling his attorneys immediately vowed to appeal.

Alexandria General District Court Judge Becky Moore gave the retiring lawmaker the sentence after determining that his blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest in May was at least 0.15, which carries a minimum five-day sentence. "Congressman Fossella, I've been sworn to follow the law and so I must impose jail time," Moore said, according to the Associated Press.

Roll Call reports that Fossella attorney Barry Pollack said there was "every reason to doubt" that Fossella's blood alcohol was really that high and that the defense would continue to make its case during the appeals process.

Fossella's arrest exploded into a tabloid scandal in May when he admitted that he had been en route to see a woman with whom he'd been having an affair and with whom he had fathered a child. Under heavy public pressure, Fossella soon after announced that he would not run for reelection. His Staten Island-based seat fell to the Democrats on Election Day.

By Ben Pershing  |  December 8, 2008; 4:26 PM ET
Categories:  Ethics and Rules , House  
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Vito go beat the meato. Jailbird Vito, where's your lady?

Posted by: Schwartz1 | December 8, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

" serve five days in jail, a ruling his attorneys immediately vowed to appeal."

FIVE DAYS? Fine, appeal and let them increase it to five weeks. Cowardly irresponsible piece of trash....

Posted by: fake1 | December 8, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the Republicans. They remind us every chance they get that They, unlike those faithless, secular humanist, immoral and permissive Democrats, are the Family Values Party. The Guardians of our Morality. Protectors of Real Americas Traditional Values. Complete and utter hypocrites!

Posted by: thebobbob | December 8, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I understand fake1's reaction, but on appeal they cannot increase his sentence. In fact, its unlikely that appeal will effect ANY change... almost all appeals in criminal cases fail, and in the rare case when they "succeed", the result is usually only that the Court of Appeals sends the matter back to the original trial court with directions to complete some step in the sentencing process that was missed or incorrectly done the first tiem. That trial court often orders precisely the same sentence, but "dots the i's and crosses the t's" the second time.

Anyway, don't be too outraged. ANY jail time, even five days, is a serious penalty for an old man who has never BEEN to jail before. And he didn't hit anyone. He is going to jail for putting people at RISK, and he should, but lets all keep some perspective. There ARE worse crimes.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | December 9, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I am in agreement with the judge. The court is there to uphold the law once it has been determined someone is guilty of breaking it, whether you be a high and mighty politician or a lowly fella under the bridge. As to 'thebobbob' comment, is he utterly unaware of history? Lest we forget, all persons, regardles of political party, are fallible.

Posted by: dchaffins | December 9, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time". PERIOD. DUI is a national problem and kills thousands of INNOCENT people every year. Shouldn't matter if you're in Congress, the state Governor, or some no 'count trash, you threaten me and all those I love. Congressman, meet Bubba, your 300 pound cellmate who just loves "pokey-bait"!

Posted by: OdysseusRex | December 11, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Bank of America and Mr. Higgins missing $millions, It can happen to you, my fellow Americans

More info:

Posted by: srmaxhiggins | December 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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